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Artificial intelligence: recommendations for the French strategy

28 março 2024 Negócios
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“AI: our vision for France”. This is the title of the highly interesting report that the French Commission for Artificial Intelligence submitted to the French government. This Commission included stakeholders from all industries, culture, economy, tech, science, and its mission is to explain the decisions of the government to turn France into a leading country of the artificial intelligence revolution.

AI should not be considered with too much pessimism or too much optimism: we anticipate neither mass unemployment, nor automatic acceleration of growth. In the years to come, AI will neither replace humans, nor be the one and only solution to all challenges of our time”. This is the key statement in the foreword of the report submitted to the French government on 15 March by the ad hoc Commission. The report also includes an action plan for the development of AI relying on six pillars and including 25 recommendations.

 

An ambitious and realistic action plan

 

This action plan is “as ambitious as realistic, at the service of people, our needs, our values and our principles”. It relies on six pillars aiming at turning AI into a factor of progress to master the future. The idea is to launch:

  • a plan to “raise awareness and offer training courses for all the French”. This plan includes “continued public debates about economic and social impacts of AI”, but also a “structuration of training offer of higher education” with “massification of continued training to the tools of AI”;
  • proper allocation of French savings;
  • towards innovation to create a “France & AI fund of 10 billion €” to fund “the emergence of the AI ecosystem and the transformation of the French eco environment”;
  • implement a “major centre of processing power” in France;
  • a facilitation of access to public and private data;
  • the principle of an AI exception in public research relying among others on the “doubling of resources in specialised public research”;
  • global governance of AI with the creation of a “world AI organisation to assess and establish a framework of AI systems”, but also the implementation of an “international fund for AI at the service of general interest” and a solidarity 1% AI mechanism” for developing countries.

 

Seven recommendations for higher education, research and international world

 

On these six pillars rely 25 more pragmatic recommendations from the Commission. They include iconic actions in relation with the supervision from the ministry of higher education and actions in relation with the international world:

  • drive a support strategy to the AI ecosystem open at international scale by supporting the development of open AI systems;
  • turn France into a “pioneer of AI for the planet” by improving research at the service of energy transition and the environment;
  • Generalise the “deployment of AI in all higher education training courses and “make specialised training accessible and appealing”;
  • train the “creative occupations to AI” as early as the first years of higher education and continuing education;
  • attract and retain “international-scale talents” with science or business and management skills in AI;
  • apply the AI exception principle in the form of “experiment in public research to improve appeal”;
  • design a “consistent and concrete diplomatic initiative” to implement “the foundation of a global governance of AI”.

 

Significant but necessary financial investment

 

These recommendations represent an annual commitment of about 4 billion € over the next five years. And the Commission says that this investment is “significant, but necessary to turn France into a spearhead country in artificial intelligence so that our society derives benefits from it”. such funding includes tech investments, but also “investments to catalyse both the spreading of AI in economy” and “an appropriation and training of all society”.

For authors of the report, this ambition is achievable, given the assets of France and Europe. It is also realistic and accessible for France, in the sense that the AI plan submitted would “reach 0.3% of total public spending”. And the Commission advises to be cautious about the cost of inaction that would be, on the contrary, very high.

For the Commission, not acting would mean foregoing “significant economic and social gains”, with a risk of “all-time record downgrade”. Authors say that it is thus necessary to “choose spending that will ensure France to master its future”. And they conclude by saying: “A collective, massive action without delay and over the long term is urgent”.

Explore more: 

Read the report from the Artificial Intelligence Commission




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